EditorsNote: revises fourth graf; fixes to “LaMonte” in ninth graf
Roberto Perez ripped a go-ahead RBI single to ignite a four-run 11th inning as the Cleveland Indians recorded a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday in Minneapolis.
Francisco Lindor followed with an RBI single, and rookie Oscar Mercado added a two-run single in the 11th inning for the Indians, who improved to 8-6 in the season series versus Minnesota.
Yasiel Puig, whose sacrifice fly tied the score in the eighth inning, singled to right-center field off Lewis Thorpe (2-2) to lead off the 11th.
Two outs later, Minnesota reliever Brusdar Graterol entered, his making Target Field debut. He issued an international walk before allowing Perez’s run-scoring single to right field.
Mike Freeman was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Lindor, who plated Greg Allen after his low liner handcuffed third baseman Miguel Sano. Mercado drove in two more runs with a single to center off Trevor Hildenberger as the Indians improved to 5-7 in extra-inning games.
Tyler Clippard (1-0) picked up the win after striking out three of the four batters he faced.
C.J. Cron and Jorge Polanco each drove in a run for the American League Central-leading Twins, who fell for just third time in their last 13 contests as their advantage over second-place Cleveland dipped to 5 1/2 games.
Minnesota took a 2-1 lead after scoring the go-ahead run following three straight singles to begin the fifth inning.
Jake Cave had the first single before exiting the game with tightness in his groin. He was replaced by LaMonte Wade Jr., who advanced to third on Max Kepler’s hit before scoring on Polanco’s single to right field.
Lindor snapped a scoreless tie with one out in the third inning by hitting a 1-1 fastball from Michael Pineda well over the wall in right field.
Lindor’s 28th homer of the season and seventh in his last 14 games was the lone blemish for Pineda, who settled for a no-decision despite allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out a season-high 10 in six innings.
Minnesota forged a tie at 1 in the fourth inning as Cron sent a ball over the head of right fielder Puig for an RBI double.
—Field Level Media